These ratings differ from our norm. For one thing, this is a Top 50, not a Top 25. For another, we’ve done these Twitter-style, which means: No more than 140 characters per team. Which means: For the sake of character count, we’ve flouted #NewspaperStyle a time or two. But #BrevityIsTheSoulOfWit, as I believe @AmosAlonzoStagg once said. And away we go:
1. Florida State
If you can win
Atlantic, recent history proves you can win
. Here’s next division/national champ —
, Tide simplifies offense, meaning more #PowerRunning. But will
create #QBcontroversy for
3. Ohio State
Crushing loss to
will win nothing of consequence if
can’t complete a pass.
won nine straight to close last season. Hype for Sam Darnold, who doesn’t have
account, is off the charts.
title game will match
. They don’t meet in regular season, which is why both are ranked this high.
no more. Job belongs to
, who’s 33, but who still has QB
7. Penn State
. Is there a follow-through for
was best player in
annals. No way he’s not missed. But Dabo (#NoTwitter) Swinney has built his program to last.
9. Oklahoma State
is 50, meaning he’s not just a #MAN but a middle-aged one. There’s opportunity here for
East twice in a row but still wasn’t picked as division favorite at #SECMD17. #NoRespect for
Talk about your #BunnySchedule.
? No, but the
transfer could lift
Lest we forget,
. He’s back. So’s
. Did we mention that
Atlantic is wicked?
will have need alternative
facts ways to #MoveTheBall. But
is undefeated on
, but he hasn’t won
and won’t this time. Which isn’t to say
won’t be good.
Another strong #SigningDay for
. But does
know what to do with
Year 2 for
program will commence without
did OK in Year 2 with
There are those who believe
folks call that #FAKENEWS
is not a head coach.
gets his #BigStage, there being not much bigger than
shares a state, but it’s a #DifferentWorld
20. South Florida
works here, having been dumped by @TexasFootball. What you mightn’t know is that
is coming off an 11-2 season.
21. Kansas State
is 77 and recovering from throat cancer. He and
have outside shot at winning in-flux
22. West Virginia
will be the QB, having transferred from
. Maybe he’ll be better under
23. Western Kentucky
has real chance to go unbeaten and make #NewYearsSix run. #Power5 opponents are
24. Boise State
As long as
is doing these rankings,
makes the #Top25. Last year was a down year — at 10-3. #Isaynomore.
25. Washington State
, it plays
in Pullman on Sept. 9. #BigGame. Be advised that
Could be this year’s
, which went unbeaten in regular season and left
in 2nd place in
lost 4 games by a total of 19 points last. This year brings a rough schedule, with road dates
28. Georgia Tech
drops seven spots in these rankings w/o
still gets chance to stick it to
had designs on #NewYearsSix bowl. That ended with loss in
title tilt. This year could be better. #AnchorsAweigh
30. Appalachian State
, which went 10-3 and nearly beat
last year. #ReallyScaryOpener
Really want to put
higher. Went 9-4 with losses by a total of 8 points. Schedule, alas, includes 4 games vs. #Power5 teams.
Not long ago,
l seemed the class of
. It went 6-7 last year.
is too clever to let that continue.
33. Virginia Tech
It was a heady first season for
Coastal title will be tough to repeat without QB
34. North Carolina State
What’s prize for finishing fourth in
Atlantic? A bid to
based in Coastal, it might finish first.
35. Notre Dame
l lost eight games last season. Apparently none of it was the fault of
, who might soon be ex-
schedule has become #nationaljoke. With
aboard, it’s slightly tougher. Could finish 2nd in
, which doesn’t face
has led program to 37-26 record over past five seasons. #PurplePower
could #breakbad. But
seems an OK hire, and
, is the QB.
39. Texas A&M
Still seeking next
. Still wondering if
is the guy. Since 2012,
40. San Diego State
is coming off consecutive 11-3 seasons. Schedule’s tougher, with September games against
That the breakthrough hasn’t happened for
indicates it probably won’t. No matter, though.
played for first
title. Three years later, it has a new man in
, who did well
know, first days of
are fine. Record over 1st 3 years
: 29-11. Record over past 2: 12-13.
: 25-26. His
record: 10-22. It just hasn’t worked. It better work this year. #HotSeatAlert
45. Louisiana Tech
, son of
last. It gets a shot
If it’s going to happen for
, this is the time.
went 7-6 last year. Of its 4 toughest games this season, 3 are
lost 4 of final 6 to finish 9-4 for 4th time in the 6 years since joining
, once a DB
, won 10 games his first three seasons
. He won 10 last season. #wasitafluke
49. North Dakota State
is an FCS program. It’s also THE FCS program. Its title game loss to
snapped run of five national crowns.
50. Florida Atlantic
. He’ll either win big and make us all mad or get fired on the tarmac at FLL.